Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28

Thread: Am I Nuts?

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Crescent, Iowa
    Posts
    13

    Am I Nuts?

    I'm planning a 7-8 day solo hike this summer into the Wind Rivers. The route I want to hike is a loop that takes me well above timberline and stays there for a few nights.

    I've got an HH ULB with JRB quilt set, and am experimenting with a Wal-Mart pad for extra warmth should I need it.

    I'm a bit concerned hanging without trees. I've read the thread concerning using climbing nuts on one or both ends.

    Please, someone with some experience hanging above the tree line tell me I'm going to be alright. I can't bear the thought of going to ground

  2. #2
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Hammock
    Blackbird
    Tarp
    MacCat Standard
    Insulation
    Winter Yeti, MWUQ4
    Suspension
    Whoopie Slings
    Posts
    8,012
    Images
    32
    Hrm...might keep that pad handy just in case.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
    - Designer, Jeff's Gear Hammock / Pack Cover by JRB

    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  3. #3
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lawrenceville, Ga
    Hammock
    JRB Bear Mtn. Bridge
    Tarp
    BlackCat/JRB 11x10
    Insulation
    Pad(s)/JRB Quilts
    Posts
    2,424
    Images
    34
    Grin and bear it man
    You'll soon be back swingin in the trees.
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  4. #4
    BillyBob58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Tupelo, MS
    Posts
    8,466
    Images
    353
    Quote Originally Posted by mmendell View Post
    I'm planning a 7-8 day solo hike this summer into the Wind Rivers. The route I want to hike is a loop that takes me well above timberline and stays there for a few nights.

    I've got an HH ULB with JRB quilt set, and am experimenting with a Wal-Mart pad for extra warmth should I need it.

    I'm a bit concerned hanging without trees. I've read the thread concerning using climbing nuts on one or both ends.

    Please, someone with some experience hanging above the tree line tell me I'm going to be alright. I can't bear the thought of going to ground
    Hey, those are my mountains! I've been going there since 1985. But last September was my first outing with the hammock in the Wind Rivers or for that matter anywhere else.

    And you're going solo? Good deal, I used to do my share of solo travel. You must be pretty experienced if you're planning that in these mountains, so I won't give you any advice about that. Last September when we were there a solo hiker died. On another September trip , about eight or 10 years ago, another solo hiker died up there. A rockslide pinned him down and he was trapped for a couple of weeks (I think) before, writing it all down in a journal, before he finally died. So have fun, but watch your topknot, Pilgrim! By the way, some places in the eastern Wind River Mountains reported 4 feet of new snow yesterday, and they are looking for another foot or so today!

    What trailhead are you going in at and where are you planning on going, if you don't mind me asking?

    Anyway, back to your question. I just posted over on another thread about how glad I was that i had my pads with me for backup. There are, needless to say, many areas of the Wind Rivers that are above timberline, which you already know. There were plenty of trees at four out of five campsites. The first night at Dad's lake, and the second night along Washakee Creek there were plenty of trees. But the third day we left the camp site on Washakee Creek, heading up the drainage with the intention of crossing over Texas pass down to Lonesome Lake for that night's camp. But due to unusually severe altitude sickness, it was getting close to dark by the time we found ourselves at the bottom of Texas pass, at Texas Lake. It seemed too risky to try to get over the pass before nightfall. It was pretty much a moonscape, not a tree in sight. There were plenty of boulders, and thinking back on it I've often wondered if I could have hung from these boulders if I had some climbing hardware. I might could have. But at the spot where we dropped from exhaustion, frankly I'm not sure there were two boulders of the appropriate size and far enough apart not too far apart. So I'm not sure I could have pulled off hanging from boulders even if I had had the climbing gear with me. At least not without hiking another half mile or so to get over into the rock fall near the base of some cliffs. And I'm not sure I would have had the nerve to sleep there.

    But then again, my thinking was not very clear, what with the altitude sickness and exhaustion. If I was back there right now, I might realize there were dozens of appropriate rocks to hang from. But all I know is, thank goodness I had those pads with me for backup. As it is right now, I don't see myself hiking without at least some sort of minimal pad. The risk of having to go to ground just seems too great, and I don't want to sleep on the ground without a pad! So I always plan to either use my super shelter alone or along with a pad ( with SPE ) for when it's too cold for the super shelter alone, or if I must go to ground for whatever reason. Right now it's just part of my total "keep warm in a hammock" system, although I can sleep most of the time without that pad. But it's nice to have it there for backup for the ground, and since I've got it with me for that purpose anyway, it makes a good backup for temps that are too cold for the super shelter by itself.

    So my advice is to take a pad! Unless you're pretty sure you're going to sleep every night at a low enough altitude where there will be trees. And apparently that is not your plan. Though it's not really hard, most of the time, to arrange things that way. My trip was planned that way, it just turned out I was too debilitated on one day to get to where I had planned to be (where the trees were).

    But this using climbing hardware thing, in order to hang from rocks, is a skill I really want to develop. Hopefully you'll find out more about it and be able to use it. But even with that skill, I'm still not sure I would want to go without the pad for backup. It just seems like there's too many things that can go awry. It can be too cold to hang, or your hammock fabric or ropes/straps could be damaged. Or do to injury or sickness, you have to stop and rest RIGHT NOW, and this particular spot has neither trees nor suitable boulders. So even though I'm sure many experienced hangers go on long-distance trips without any kind of pad, I think I'm going to take the pad. If nothing else, it will allow me to comfortably lounge, on the ground, near my fellow (non-hammocking) campers, when their tent sites and/or campfires are too far away from my hanging trees for socializing(sp?). Of course, you're going solo, so that would not be a factor for you on this trip.

    I'll be following the advice given to you about boulder hanging (I hope there is some advice given!). Keep us posted on what you find out about it. And by all means let us know the result of your Hammocking trip to the Wind Rivers. I've got another trip planned for September.

    You know, there is a fellow that has posted at the Hennessy site about making a long above timberline trip in the Sierras, hanging from boulders. If you or somebody could get hold of that person, and they were willing, they would obviously be a source of excellent advice direct from the experienced rock hanger! Also, Ed Speer writes about (in his book) hanging from trees (I mean, in the branches) and rocks to avoid bears. I don't think he has ever posted at this site. But he should be a good source of advice if you can contact him, or if he would come to these forums.

  5. #5
    BillyBob58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Tupelo, MS
    Posts
    8,466
    Images
    353

    check this out

    Letter and photos from Michael Elsdon, Calgary, Alberta

    http://www.hennessyhammock.com/tips-from-users.htm

  6. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Crescent, Iowa
    Posts
    13
    I've not decided on a trailhead yet, although I'm leaning toward Elkhart Park and the trail up toward Seneca lake. From there, either Indian Pass through the Alpine Lakes area, or head up toward Sky Pilot and Elbow Lake. I'm looking for a 40 mile or so loop with some down time for a bit of fishing, and am exceeding open to suggestions!

    I have heard that crossing Knife Point glacier at Indian Pass can be tricky these days. Have you been up that way? That route sounds interesting, but I'm not all that experienced at glacier travel, don't own an ice axe or crampons, and am balking at investing in them. Alpine Lakes and Brown Cliffs look like fun, though.

    I use a JRB nest, and found in the Colorado Buffalo Peaks WA last summer that I need more insulation at night. Beefing up my sleepwear and bringing a Walmart pad for either cold nights or going to ground. I'm not a young guy anymore, and a night or 2 on the ground on top of that Wally World pad is gonna HURT! I think I'm going to buy a couple of these climbing nuts and do some experimenting, although I won't have the opportunity until I'm there... nothing but Loess clay hills around here! They're relatively inexpensive and light.

  7. #7
    BillyBob58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Tupelo, MS
    Posts
    8,466
    Images
    353

    It's wild and wooly up there!

    mmendell
    I've not decided on a trailhead yet, although I'm leaning toward Elkhart Park and the trail up toward Seneca lake. From there, either Indian Pass through the Alpine Lakes area, or head up toward Sky Pilot and Elbow Lake. I'm looking for a 40 mile or so loop with some down time for a bit of fishing, and am exceeding open to suggestions!
    I had a response to earlier, but it got deleted by accident, so here I go again!
    My memory of that area is lots of trees up thru Hobbs lake and maybe until Seneca lake. After that, trees are scarce to nonexistent all the way to the Indian Pass. So you'll be on the ground or hanging from rocks.

    I have heard that crossing Knife Point glacier at Indian Pass can be tricky these days. Have you been up that way? That route sounds interesting, but I'm not all that experienced at glacier travel, don't own an ice axe or crampons, and am balking at investing in them. Alpine Lakes and Brown Cliffs look like fun, though.
    I have not been on that glacier or over Indian Pass, only at it's western side.
    At or near Indian Pass ( in Sept?) is where the rock slide pinned that fellow, and he was there a week or two before someone found him. I think he died just shortly before they found him, having written it about each day in his journal. It can be dangerous in those Wind River passes. I hear it's pretty crowded up that way in summer before labor day. But when I was there the week after labor day 3 or 4 years back, from Elkhart to Seneca to Island lake to Titcomb Basin, we probably didn't see 3 or 4 other people. We didn't see anyone else camping anywhere except one couple the 1st night at Hobb's lake. The 3rd day it started raining (this has hardly ever happened to me the week I'm there) and rained very cold steady rain for the next 3 days, and was still pouring as we loaded up the car at the trailhead. As we were trying to leave Island lake, the main trail eluded us mixed in with all of the game trails, no signs, and all landmarks were lost in the fog. We realized the problem after what seemed to obviously be the main trail out suddenly just disappeared, after we had followed it for an hour or more climbing up into the wrong pass. We back tracked back down to Island lake, and still couldn't find what had seemed like a highway when we came in! All in pouring rain and fog, threatening to snow! Finally map and compass helped us find our trail out. It was a lot of fun!

    June 27th, 1985, south of this area down near Mt. Washakee, I was in my 3rd week out there, one week to go. It had not rained the whole time more than a little sprinkle. It started to rain. I went to sleep in the tarp with the mosquitos sounding like the Indy 500 in my ears. I woke up about 2am with the tarp on my face. The weight of the snow had collapsed the tarp! It snowed all day as we hiked. That night the snow broke a branch of a tree and it pierced my friends tarp. I remember hearing him call out "Well, live and learn!". We all got a good laugh out of that! By the next morning there was 1 1/2 feet of snow on the ground, which wasn't so funny breaking trail thru mile after mile for several days till it melted! Good times!

    If you don't have the experience or ice axe/crampons, I think you would be crazy to fool with crossing any glacier. In fact, you probably also should be roped to a companion. Though you might get lucky, I wouldn't do it! But then, that's just me.


    I use a JRB nest, and found in the Colorado Buffalo Peaks WA last summer that I need more insulation at night. Beefing up my sleepwear and bringing a Walmart pad for either cold nights or going to ground. I'm not a young guy anymore, and a night or 2 on the ground on top of that Wally World pad is gonna HURT! I think I'm going to buy a couple of these climbing nuts and do some experimenting, although I won't have the opportunity until I'm there... nothing but Loess clay hills around here! They're relatively inexpensive and light.
    Yeah, you won't be happy on that WW pad on the ground. So I hope your able to hang from the rocks. If you do, be sure to tell me about it. I'm getting really psyched for my Sept trip just talking to you! Just make sure you take a pad! You may also need it in the hammock. My coldest recorded june temp has been 24* that june 27th., but most early June nights were probably on the hi 30's low 40's. Everyone's wet boots froze solid that 24* night. My coldest recorded 1st week of Sept night was 15*, one week every single night was exactly 20*, other times the lows have mostly been in the 30's to 40's.

    Fun, fun, fun! But be careful!

  8. #8
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Crescent, Iowa
    Posts
    13
    Thanks for all of the insight! I can't wait. I'm going in early to mid-July. I'll be feeding the mosquitoes!

  9. #9
    BillyBob58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Tupelo, MS
    Posts
    8,466
    Images
    353
    Quote Originally Posted by mmendell View Post
    Thanks for all of the insight! I can't wait. I'm going in early to mid-July. I'll be feeding the mosquitoes!
    I can guarantee you will need extra weight to keep the gangs of mosquitoes from carrying you off! They are gone by late Aug.- Sept, come out in June. They are exceedingly bloodthirsty little devils.

    I've been looking back at some pictures, and I need to change something. There are some isolated stands of trees, mostly spruce, to at least Island Lake, though there is no more of what you might call "forest". I had fallen back into ground sleeper mode and thinking. But as a hanger, you may well be able to find enough trees, though in campsites no tenter could use.
    Bill

  10. #10
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Hammock
    Blackbird
    Tarp
    MacCat Standard
    Insulation
    Winter Yeti, MWUQ4
    Suspension
    Whoopie Slings
    Posts
    8,012
    Images
    32
    Great pics BB58...looks like some pretty rugged terrain! I always like pics with mountains reflecting off of water like that.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
    - Designer, Jeff's Gear Hammock / Pack Cover by JRB

    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •